More travelers than ever are seeking meaningful adventures that give back. However, unless you have been on a volunteering holiday before, you may not know what to pack. Here we have compiled some suggestions, and feel free to leave a comment with your own too!
The first thing that you will want to do is find out what the weather is going to be like for the time of year at the place where you will be volunteering. The last thing you want is to show up in a cold climate with nothing warm to put on or have heavy clothes for an assignment to a hot and humid country.
If you are going to a warm weather country, shorts and t-shirts will be necessary and you will probably also want to have a hat with a visor to help keep the sun off you too. In colder climates, it is best to pack clothes that enable you to layer up or down depending on the weather conditions of a particular day.
No matter what type of climate you are going to, it’s vital to pack a pair of sturdy work shoes to protect your feet and a pair of work gloves to help protect your hands as you go about your daily chores.
There is most likely not going to be a convenience store on the street corner of where you are going, so it’s important to pack an adequate supply of toiletries. A small bottle of shampoo, a bar of soap, a small towel, some deodorant, toothpaste and a toothbrush, and some sanitary towels are necessities that every volunteer needs to pack.
Anyone who goes on a volunteer holiday and does not take a flashlight has definitely not prepared for the trip properly. A volunteer will most likely be spending a lot of time outdoors too, so it is always advisable to pack a pair of sunglasses. You shouldn’t take just any old cheap sunglasses either; it’s best to invest in a brand that offers protection from harmful UV rays like Ray Bans which also has recyclable options.
You may also want to pack some iodine pills to treat your drinking water until you are sure it is safe to drink. In some cases it does not hurt to pack a mosquito net too, depending on where you are going.
It is also always advisable to contact your sponsor before going on any volunteer vacation. Most of the time the sponsor will have a website that lists everything that each person will need to pack. Also, when volunteering make sure to ask what you can bring to aid those in the area you are visiting. These items can vary greatly but reputable agencies will always be able to advise on what to bring and what not to.